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A Personal Post: On Academic Kindness in Difficult Times

Appropriately enough, as I sit down to write this, Stéphane Grappelli and The Diz Disley Trio are playing an instrumental cover of "Solitude" in the background on my Spotify mix. I'm in my one bedroom apartment in Salt Lake City, starting my weekend. Or rather, I'm trying to erect a mental boundary between today and the 24 hours which preceded this one. It's a now-tired joke on social media that introverted academics have already been doing "self-quarantine," though in my case, it has a ring of truth to it, since I've been across the world from my home campus on research leave since early December. For the last few months, Twitter, Skype, email, and texting have been my main connections to friends across the Pacific and the rest of the world.

But that's also something shared with other academics, as we tend to have our social networks spread across the globe, leaving connections in the places we attend graduate school, post-docs, and our jobs (…

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